Real Madrid emerged victorious in the final of a revamped Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. In the process, they beat city rivals Atletico Madrid, 4-0 on penalties, following a tense goalless draw after extra time.
Real Madrid had to play with 10 men because of midfielder Federico Valverde's red card in the 115th minute. Valverde deliberately fouled Alvaro Morata at a crucial stage of the match. Valverde's foul helped Los Blancos avoid defeat. Otherwise, Atletico had a clear chance of scoring.
Zinedine Zidane would be feeling lucky that his side survived the final stretch of the match, as it proceeded to penalties. It was Real captain Sergio Ramos who calmly sent Atletico keeper Jan Oblak in the wrong direction to convert the fourth spot-kick and to help his team seal their first trophy of the year.
Apart from Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Rodrygo and Luka Modric also scored for Real in the shootout. For Atletico, it was nothing less than a nightmare as Saul Niguez's shot struck the post and Thomas Partey's effort was rejected by Real goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois. Only Kieran Trippier could score for them.
Ramos praised Valverde for his match-saving foul. He believes that his teammate took one for the team in such a crucial moment. Ramos also spoke about the Real manager. He said, "We have the experience you need in the dramatic moments. Fede is a fantastic footballer and we would all have done the same thing in his position. Zidane's results speak for themselves. I'm a defender of 'Zizou', he deserves the respect of the dressing room and the Real fans."
Real midfielder Isco said that Real won the final because of Valverde's sacrifice for the team and his overall intelligence on the field. This is the 11th time that Real Madrid lifted the Super Cup trophy.
Once again Zidane's flawless record in finals sustained. This was the ninth time that Los Blancos have appeared in a final under the Frenchman. They won on all nine occasions. Real also won their tenth trophy under coach Zidane, and interestingly, this is the first cup that Los Blancos won ever since the Frenchman returned to club duties for the second time.